Movie night with a physicist seems like it would be a giant groan-fest since it’s very likely that they could point out just what is wrong with a movie and why. That alone would be enough for a lot of people to just turn off the movie and walk away, but thankfully this expert is at least willing to admit that he doesn’t mind bad science in movies, so long as the movies are entertaining.

Physics can be a lot of fun but it can also be pretty boring depending on who you’re learning it from and where it’s placed in a movie. Sometimes however the most entertaining movies are guilty of so many physics sins that trying to count them all is kind of difficult. But here we go:


Neutrinos seems like a cool word just to say, and thankfully this is a true thing that they don’t generally react, which is good since so many pass through a human body continually. Unfortunately the likelihood of those neutrinos conspiring to create an effect that makes the earth boil from within is not exactly believable.

Crimson Force/Mission to Mars

The idea of what happens when you lose your headpiece in space, actually IN space and not in a contained system, is in question since no one’s ever really done it. But your head exploding seems a bit extreme, and losing all your fluids at once seems a little more acceptable but not quite realistic. In truth it seems as though you would suffocate first as the air from your lungs was forced out and then whatever effects took place would be up for debate, but head explosions don’t seem likely.

Man of Steel/Batman

The miraculous save from the long fall is not exactly believable since the intense speed that Superman is capable of would snap Lois Lane in two quite possibly. And that goes doubly for Batman since the moment the cable snaps his arm is useless if not ripped off entirely. That is unfortunately how it works when you add momentum and then suddenly take it away. A body in motion is going to stay in motion even when that momentum is halted. The result is anything but gentle.

As you can imagine there are a lot of movies in which physics are not quite as accurate as they should be, but just listening to him you can see that he’s trying to be fair, even though it’s obvious that he knows very well that in the movies, physics are bound to be more a thing of fantasy than science.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.